Postcards from France

travel stories from France by Gai Reid


When is the best time to visit Paris?

I am asked this question often and my automatic reply is “As soon as possible, preferably tomorrow morning!”  And I’m only half joking. Paris is perfect at any time of the year but you will have different experiences and memories depending on when you go.


Paris in Winter

Paris in Winter

Paris in the Winter.

Many years ago when I was planning my first visit, the only time I could go was December/January. I was concerned that the winter would not be the best time to visit Paris, that somehow the cold weather would lessen the beauty of the buildings or cause me extreme discomfort to be out enjoying the city and people. But a dear friend who had been to Paris in winter, convinced me that it would be enchanting. “When the trees have no leaves”, he said “you get to see more of the architecture.”  I began to visualise the pre-Christmas decorations that would be everywhere and the fairy lights adding a touch of magic. I did the trip and loved it.

autumn in ParisNotre Dame Paris in autumne

My Favourite Season for Paris.

Since then I’ve been to Paris in the heat of summer but never in springtime. My hands down favourite time to be in this luscious city – is during the autumn.  If this is your first visit to Paris, I think it’s PERFECT. Arriving in September, you will miss the heat and the crowds that dominate summer. The sun will still be shining and evenings are extremely pleasant for dinner outdoors. By October the parks will be gathering a carpet of russet leaves as the trees begin to shut down for the colder months. I love to be witness to the arrival of autumn in the Tuileries. Mornings are becoming crisp and the day is perfect for long walks along those streets made for strolling.  My final answer?  ANY time is the best time to visit Paris.

Louvre from Tuileries, ParisTuileries autumn leaves

I am already planning my next visit to France. It will be early March, to complete my experience of “Paris by Seasons”. And this will be a romantic time in my favourite city, showing my partner Neil (a Paris virgin!) why I love this place more than any other I have seen. We will stay for the entire springtime, wandering France from village to villa.  More on that journey soon.

Luxembourg Gardens in autumn








  1. I’ve had the privilege to see Paris in all four seasons thanks to my year as an au pair girl many years ago. I love them all, and in fact I prefer the colder months because there are less tourists then. October to March is a nice time to visit for that reason alone.

  2. nice article,
    My favorite season in Paris is spring
    As Charles Azanvour sings ” j’aime Paris Au mois de mai …”
    The problem of March is the rain …don’t forget your umbrella !.


Please share your thoughts on anything French. Merci

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